Tuesday, August 4, 2009

'Autumn Rocket' Camellias at City Nursery Farm

The standard white Sasanqua Camellia in the landscape seems to be 'Setsugekka' (Camellia sasanqua 'Setsugekka'). There are many reasons why this Camellia is popular: It's easy to find at nurseries, it has a beautiful white flower (seen in the above image) and it can be trained as a hedge, specimen or espaliered plant.

As a plant pathologist, I cannot recommend this culitvar for the landscape. This camellia is very susceptible to Anthracnose, a fungal disease that causes stem dieback, leaf drop, cankers (sunken areas on the stems) and eventual plant death. Several times every season, I am called to diagnose a failing 'Setsugekka' for a homeowner. Most of the time my recommendation is to pull it out.

You can substitute 'Setsugekka' with a fantastic camellia that seems to be very resistant to Anthracnose- 'Autumn Rocket'. I have been impressed with all of the Sasanqua Camellias in the 'Autumn' series.

The flowers of 'Autumn Rocket' are white with just a tinge of pink at the edges. It is a heavy bloomer and flowers in mid-fall. This shrub has an upright growth habit that is similar to 'Setsugekka', but more full.

For everyone in the trade (wholesale only), City Nursery Farm in Bishopville has this cultivar in 3's, 7's and 15's. In fact, City Nursery Farm has the best quality Camellias I scout. These plants have been pruned well and are thick. These camellias are high-value.


  1. I found your posts through Jeff at Compost In My Shoe and I am also impressed with Autumn Rocket. It is one of my favorite Camellias, mainly because of its growth habit which I know as tall and narrow, almost columnar. I really enjoyed your cast net story and reminds me of my tribulations. Catching your own shrimp is like finding money on the sidewalk.

  2. It is a great camellia. I am a plant pathologist, so I am tough on grading a plant- a pretty flower isn't enough.

    What type of nursery do you manage? I consult mainly for wholesale woody ornamental nurseries and used to work at Carolina Nurseries near Charleston.



Blog Widget by LinkWithin